Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Macro Idea - Parcel Mail

With the Post Office in continual discussion about layoffs and delivery cutting it occurs to me that the current economic environment could finally catalyze action against words.  An immediate effect would be growth in private label shipping (UPS, FedEx), and after that, there will be interplay among internet purchasing taxation, shipping and handling costs, and the overhead of running a local store.

An early effect for the stocks should be EPS growth as extended labor hours cost less than infrastructure capex. Even after that, a small field of competition and high barriers to entry virtually ensure margins will be held for the medium term, despite growing operating expense.

This pullback could be a gift for longer term investors.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Teller Window

As witnessed in the media, small confusions can lead to shocking tales of customer abuse.  For example, The Bullingtons were covered last week by the major outlets after it was discovered that they had been foreclosed upon for the seemingly harmless crime of paying their mortgage too early.  How could such a benign act turn into a national disgrace?

The problem is lack of accountability, and the solution is more face time.

You've probably seen all the bells and whistles they're putting on ATM's now.  Some of them will take fist fulls of cash and deposit it directly into your account.  Some allow you to insert a check, et voila, check is deposited.  Have you ever wondered what a pain in the tailfeathers it would be if one of these whizbang machines screwed something up?  How much angst, and how many Indians named "Jason" you'd have to talk to?  Much less the automatic aspersions cast upon your claim due to the notion of mechanical perfection and the daily reminder [as you trudge through the swamp of customer service reps who deal with no one but pissed off clients all day] of the fact that you are nothing but an account number.

In the haste to create corporate profitability, America has, I feel, mortgaged its sense of personalism (not a word) and the cost of doing so is mounting Libertarian sentiment.

Libertarian - a person who advocates civil liberty.  What does civil mean?  Of or relating to ordinary citizens and their concerns, as distinct from military or ecclesiastical matters.  So you've got swelling ranks of folks disenchanted with being counterparty to a machine, whether literal like the ATM, or metaphorical like the Government and Big Business.  Has the pendulum of consumer abuse finally swung far enough that Americans will command back their Constitutionally protected rights to not being fucked by these inhuman monstrosities?  It remains to be determined.

From an old post, here, I posited, "... As if to say that moral hazard at the corner office is somehow different than the home office these banks have taken advantage of the whole of America."  How has that worked out?

We need more face time.  Pay the bank teller a visit.  Since you can hold that person accountable right at the time of the transaction there is virtually a 0% chance that you will ever be exposed to the back offices of the Machine.  Similarly, a move toward local government is underway.  Liberals and Conservatives should be able to agree.  California has virtually legalized marijuana, and that's fine.  Arizona allows hordes of armed civilians to patrol its borders, also fine.  They're fine because neither of these two behaviors negatively affect anyone else.  Californians who voted had the option to pay their Congress people a visit for some accountability without having to fly across the lower 48.  Good, but is that enough?  No.

Why in the world would a town preclude its citizens from buying beer and wine, otherwise legal substances under national statutes?  Dallas, Texas citizens had existed under generations old dry district rules whose original purpose cannot be known for certain.  Thankfully, liberty wins during a reassessment of such codes by voters.  That's the kind of locality you want.  Let people vote with their feet and wallets, and let them shop with their oppressors at the grocery store every week.  There's always the option to move to an African dictatorship if you're of the inclination that getting fucked by a Faceless Master is ok.

Ol' Red issued swift and decisive accountability for this unprovoked act of aggression.

Civil liberty equals harmony.

All our lives can be thought a series of choices.  Those who would narrow another's choices are laying claim to inherent liberties delineated under the founding principles of this country as measured by the Bill of Rights.  Such claims should be viewed as malignant deprivations if immediate recourse is not available.  Most national laws and corporate business policies do not offer such recourse.  We have witnessed what a country and its leadership have done with the political sway to behave in ways that individual citizens should not.  Go to the teller window.  Move to a local bank.  Call your City Councilman/Ombudsman.  Hold someone accountable.

Start with yourself.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011